With each passing loss, the pain numbs for the New York Jets faithful. Why? Because each L is simply another step to ensuring the club locks in the No. 1 overall pick at the 2021 draft and selects Clemson phenom Trevor Lawrence. While the "Tank for Trevor" bus is riding fast and riding full, there's another task that'll need to be addressed if it does reach its destination: Sam Darnold. If Lawrence is ultimately in New York's crosshairs, that effectively ends Darnold's tenure with the organization, which is something that he admittedly doesn't want to see occur.
"I love it here," Darnold said Monday, via the Associated Press' Dennis Waszak Jr. "I love the people here. I love living here. I've always said it, that I want to be a Jet for life. But again that decision isn't up to me."
Darnold's right in that the decision is out of his hands. In reality, it'll be up to GM Joe Douglas, who'll be faced with evaluating each aspect of this so-far winless season in New York and trying to see if any pieces should move forward with the club, which includes Darnold.
While the third-year quarterback has shown flashes of his potential, it largely hasn't materialized into wins, owning an 11-24 record as the Jets starter. This season, Darnold has struggled, which may make the decision even easier for Douglas and the rest of the Jets brass to move off of the No. 3 pick in 2018 to usher in Lawrence. Through nine starts, Darnold's completed just 58.4% of his throws for 1,560 yards, five touchdowns, and nine picks. Of course, the Jets roster around him isn't anything to write home about, but that lackluster stat line won't do him much favors when it comes time to evaluate his time in East Rutherford.
The likely scenario for Darnold, as long as the Jets secure the No. 1 pick, is that they'll look to trade him. Despite a less-than-stellar start to his career in New York, Darnold has plenty of untapped potential. He'll be just 24-years old by the start of next season and is under team control through 2022 if his fifth-year option is triggered. The Jets will look to gain some assets for their former first-rounder and Darnold will likely look for a reset somewhere else in the NFL, whether he wants it to be the case or not.